May 24, 1978

NATIONAL SECURITY

PC

Thomas Charles Cossitt

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Tom Cossitt (Leeds):

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a matter of urgency concerning the fact that the Progressive Conservative government of Ontario yesterday blocked a $25,000 Ontario Arts Council grant pending a full review of the operations of the Kensington Arts Centre, the Centre for Experimental Art and Communication, and the tabloid "Strike" which supports terrorism. I might add that the city of Toronto took similar action a few days ago. In light of these decisions, I ask consent to move, seconded by the hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre (Mr. McKenzie):

That this House condemns the government and the Secretary of State in particular for failing to take similar action and for failing to justify the allocation of large sums of public money to these groups previously; and, finally, demands an explanation from the Prime Minister as to why he continuously maintains a position of silent inaction with regard to the award of public funds to extreme leftist-oriented organizations which advocate terrorism.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL SECURITY
Sub-subtopic:   GRANTS TO ALLEGED TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS-MOTION UNDER S O. 43
Permalink
LIB

James Alexander Jerome (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

In conformity with Standing Order 43, unanimous consent is required before the motion can be presented. Is there such consent?

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL SECURITY
Sub-subtopic:   GRANTS TO ALLEGED TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS-MOTION UNDER S O. 43
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL SECURITY
Sub-subtopic:   GRANTS TO ALLEGED TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS-MOTION UNDER S O. 43
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

No.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL SECURITY
Sub-subtopic:   GRANTS TO ALLEGED TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS-MOTION UNDER S O. 43
Permalink

ORAL QUESTION PERIOD

AIRPORTS

PC

J. Michael Forrestall

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. M. Forrestall (Dartmouth-Halifax East):

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transport. In light of the implications of the report of the coroner's inquiry into the crash of the Pacific Western jet on February 11 at Cranbrook which, among other things, publicly rebuked the minister and called for immediate and necessary changes with respect to certain navigational, communications and firefighting capacities, would the minister tell us what steps he intends to take to meet these recommendations and in a general way to upgrade the standard of airports such as Cranbrook?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   AIRPORTS
Sub-subtopic:   UPGRADING OF SAFETY AND NAVIGATIONAL FACILITIES- CRASH AT CRANBROOK, B.C.
Permalink
LIB

Otto Emil Lang (Minister of Transport; Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board)

Liberal

Hon. Otto E. Lang (Minister of Transport):

First of all, in referring to me the coroner was actually dealing with certain reports and statements, some of them taken out of context. I am not sure how far apart we would be if we were meeting face to face.

We have an investigation under way and our experts will continue to analyse all factors from an aviation and safety point of view. The results will be reviewed by our independent

Oral Questions

review board and at that point I will expect to receive a report and to be acting upon it.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   AIRPORTS
Sub-subtopic:   UPGRADING OF SAFETY AND NAVIGATIONAL FACILITIES- CRASH AT CRANBROOK, B.C.
Permalink
PC

J. Michael Forrestall

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Forrestall:

I appreciate the minister's response, Mr. Speaker. I wonder if he is now in a position to indicate to the House whether consultations with the various provinces and other jurisdictions have gone far enough to permit him to move ahead with tabling in this House the long overdue legislation with respect to the establishment of an independent commission of inquiry.

If consultations have not gone that far or proceeded to that point at this stage, is the minister now prepared to indicate to the House and to the people of Canada that he will name a senior court judge with competent authority to conduct a proper public inquiry so as to remove the uncertainty and continuing confusion surrounding this tragic incident?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   AIRPORTS
Sub-subtopic:   UPGRADING OF SAFETY AND NAVIGATIONAL FACILITIES- CRASH AT CRANBROOK, B.C.
Permalink
LIB

Otto Emil Lang (Minister of Transport; Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board)

Liberal

Mr. Lang:

Mr. Speaker, my answers to those questions really remain the same as they were last week. I will await the report from our investigating team before deciding on the second question.

As far as the first question is concerned, it has been our proposal to go ahead with an independent accident board. One of the questions which has involved most of the time in discussions with the provinces and others has been the matter of the provisions which can assure that the role of coroners is not interfered with in any way by the accident board which we may create. Those discussions have been very useful and I think have very much warranted the time we will have spent between first proposing the board and the time when we will introduce the legislation. We are now in the final phase of developing proposals, after those discussions, into legislative form, and as soon as that is complete we will move forward with the legislation.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   AIRPORTS
Sub-subtopic:   UPGRADING OF SAFETY AND NAVIGATIONAL FACILITIES- CRASH AT CRANBROOK, B.C.
Permalink
PC

J. Michael Forrestall

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Forrestall:

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the minister is now prepared to have further consultations with the Minister of Justice and other colleagues with a view to having counsel for the ministry reopen the question of the pooling of liability so that at least a partial settlement of claims arising out of this accident might be proceeded with. There is some urgency and considerable financial distress. Has the minister addressed himself to this question? Is it a matter of ongoing concern within the department, or must we wait until the minister has all the final reports and until he can make some judgment about the establishment of a public commission of inquiry?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   AIRPORTS
Sub-subtopic:   UPGRADING OF SAFETY AND NAVIGATIONAL FACILITIES- CRASH AT CRANBROOK, B.C.
Permalink
LIB

Otto Emil Lang (Minister of Transport; Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board)

Liberal

Mr. Lang:

Mr. Speaker, the matter of compensation for persons seriously affected by an accident like this is always of great concern to us all. The matter is very much in hand. It is being handled by our legal personnel in consultation with myself and the Minister of Justice and I hope progress can be made, but I do not think it would be appropriate for the details of the problem to be analysed here in this House rather than being handled by the lawyers and representatives of the parties involved.

May 24, 1978

Oral Questions

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   AIRPORTS
Sub-subtopic:   UPGRADING OF SAFETY AND NAVIGATIONAL FACILITIES- CRASH AT CRANBROOK, B.C.
Permalink

ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE

PC

Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Eldon M. Woolliams (Calgary North):

Mr. Speaker, I would like to put a question to the Minister of Justice concerning the same air crash which took place on February 11 and in which 43 people lost their lives. When the coroner was summing up, he rebuked the federal Minister of Transport for his suggestion that the inquest should concern itself only with the immediate cause of death. The coroner went on to say that inquests have a tradition of 1,000 years.

Did the Minister of Transport consult with the Minister of Justice, the chief law officer of Canada, regarding the advisability of holding a public inquiry prior to the inquest or while the inquest was adjourned so that all the best evidence-and I emphasize, best evidence-could be placed before the coroner and so there would have been scientific research done with reference to the tape which was transcribed but which was not clear?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
Sub-subtopic:   CRASH OF PWA AIRCRAFT AT CRANBROOK, B.C.-EVIDENCE AVAILABLE TO CORONER'S INQUEST
Permalink
LIB

Stanley Ronald Basford (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. Ron Basford (Minister of Justice):

No, Mr. Speaker, not with me personally. Whether he consulted with officers of my department or his officers consulted with officers of my department, I am unable to say today.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
Sub-subtopic:   CRASH OF PWA AIRCRAFT AT CRANBROOK, B.C.-EVIDENCE AVAILABLE TO CORONER'S INQUEST
Permalink

CRASH OF PWA AIRCRAFT AT CRANBROOK, B.C.- CONSULTATION BETWEEN MINISTERS OF JUSTICE AND TRANSPORT

PC

Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Eldon M. Woolliams (Calgary North):

Mr. Speaker, I would like to turn to the Minister of Transport. The Minister of Transport has heard my question with reference to the rebuke by the coroner. Did the Minister of Transport consult with the Minister of Justice and, if not, why not, especially when the Minister of Transport refused at the beginning to have the tape admitted as evidence and then later changed his mind?

Did the minister consider, not only as Minister of Transport but as a person with some knowledge of the law, that a public inquiry would have added to the best evidence not only on the cause of death but on the cause of the crash which led to 43 people meeting death?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CRASH OF PWA AIRCRAFT AT CRANBROOK, B.C.- CONSULTATION BETWEEN MINISTERS OF JUSTICE AND TRANSPORT
Permalink
LIB

Otto Emil Lang (Minister of Transport; Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board)

Liberal

Hon. Otto E. Lang (Minister of Transport):

It is obvious that hon. members will stray a long way away from the facts when they rely on press reports and on what are not even correct statements. Of course, he has the example of the hon. member for York-Simcoe who creates press reports of a similar false nature. Perhaps that is part of their operation.

If the hon. member had listened to my first answer, he would have noted that the coroner was not even dealing with a very exact expression of any statement of mine in dealing with

the issue of coroners' inquests and accident review boards. So we part company on that. Second, if the hon. member had watched the second set of press reports instead of the first, he would have known that at no time did we refuse to make the tapes available. We did indicate at a certain stage to the coroner that we did not have what we considered to be the final transcript available. What we had was a rather incomplete one; in fact, one not unlike the one he had earlier thrown out when it was produced in front of him by someone else. We could not produce what we did not have; I think that position is very clear. But it was also very clear to us that, in fact, we were always willing to produce the evidence which we had available when it was asked for.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CRASH OF PWA AIRCRAFT AT CRANBROOK, B.C.- CONSULTATION BETWEEN MINISTERS OF JUSTICE AND TRANSPORT
Permalink
PC

Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Woolliams:

It is rather strange to hear the minister talk about evidence when he actually refused to give them the tape-now he says he did not refuse, but that is not what the report states-or transcribe the tape so scientific research could be done and so that the pure facts could be put before that inquest. I put this question to him again: Why did he refuse to have a public inquiry so that the best evidence could be put before that inquest, not the evidence he is now trying to set out here in the House?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CRASH OF PWA AIRCRAFT AT CRANBROOK, B.C.- CONSULTATION BETWEEN MINISTERS OF JUSTICE AND TRANSPORT
Permalink

May 24, 1978